Glen Oliver Lane and the fate of his small reconnaissance team still haunt me to this day. We never met. Our paths crossed only momentarily 47 years ago.

On May 20, 1968, me and two two other young, green Green Berets entered year four of the top-secret war that was fought during the Vietnam War. It was fought for eight years under the aegis of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam–Studies and Observations Group, or simply SOG.

The three of us had completed our in-country training in Nha Trang, South Vietnam. We received our top secret SOG briefing in Da Nang, which included signing government documents vowing not to discuss, write about, or photograph any aspect of SOG’s mission for 20 years. We were told that if we violated that agreement, we would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and that we were to tell no one, parents, girlfriends, lovers, or friends about SOG.

On the morning of May 20, the South Vietnamese Air Force’s 219th Special Operations Squadron flew us north from Da Nang to FOB 1 in Phu Bai, located 10 miles south of Hue. The three of us exited the H-34 Sikorsky helicopter as a recon team—codenamed ST Idaho—boarded the nine-cylinder warbird, and headed west into one of the deadliest SOG target areas: the A Shau Valley.